A year ago, at CES 2018, Honda showed off a prototype "Automotive Work Vehicle" - an autonomous ATV powered by artificial intelligence. For a whole year, various modifications of this car were tested in real conditions, and now, at the upcoming CES 2019, the company is ready to show it in all its glory.
From the classic ATV, the AWV takes only a four-wheel drive chassis with four-wheel drive. The driver's seat, steering wheel, and other control tools have been replaced with a sensor system that, together with GPS data, allows the onboard AI to navigate the terrain. He knows his capabilities very well and he builds a path off-road - in the desert, mountains, agricultural land, etc.
AWV is equipped with a universal platform for mounting work modules. Its effectiveness in transporting fragile solar panels was evaluated in Northern California, in Colorado, the robot helped extinguish forest fires, and in California it worked on an experimental farm. Theoretically, it can accommodate arbitrary equipment of all types, but the company has not yet clarified the parameters of the carrying capacity and autonomy of the machine.
Honda emphasizes that this is not a production model yet. On the contrary, practical testing revealed a lot of nuances in matters of autonomous control, and at the upcoming exhibition, much attention will be paid to navigation systems, and not to the drone itself. After all, the main task of the project is to create the most reliable "smart systems" to replace a person in situations where there is a real risk to his health.